EPPE Network Launches New Collaboration with Chilean University to Empower Teachers as Researchers
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
We at the EPPE Network are excited to announce a pioneering international programme to empower Chilean school teachers working in highly vulnerable contexts, supporting them to undertake action research, often for the first time. The project - EPPE LAB Chile 2019 - will take place over seven months in the city of Antofagasta, Chile, in partnership with the Talent Research and Development Centre, the Education Laboratory and the Universidad Católica del Norte School of Education.
The intensive training program will comprise both taught modules and practical activities, offering participants - which will include both teachers and pedagogy students - the opportunity to acquire tools and applied knowledge in educational research methodologies, based on the Participatory Action Research approach. This model is currently used in various advanced educational systems around the world to enhance the involvement of school communities as key actors in change processes, using empirical evidence obtained by teachers themselves to inform internal institutional improvements. Each research group will be led by a team of teachers within one school and will define, together with the educational community, the specific topics to be investigated based on their analysis of the needs, educational issues and challenges specific to their context.
Each research group will lead and carry out a research project within their schools, supervised and supported by academics and researchers from the Universidad Católica del Norte. In addition, members of the EPPE Network will act as international expert advisors to the research groups.
For EPPE Network Project Coordinator Ellen Vanderhoven, this initiative represents an innovative and exciting opportunity to address the lack of community engagement in educational research, not only in Latin America, but throughout the world:
Many of our Members and Associate Fellows were or are currently teachers, so for us it is very important to promote research that is led by educational communities themselves. In our experience, these types of strategies provide unprecedented opportunities for both the professional development of each teacher, as well as the development of the school community, generating more effective interventions in the classroom.
Regarding the EPPE Network’s involvement in the initiative, she goes on to say:
I believe that this will be a mutually beneficial collaboration. On the one hand, our members, who are working in different educational systems around the world, will be able to offer their knowledge and experience to the Chilean teachers and students involved in the project, many of whom will be undertaking research for the first time. Equally, I believe that our members will also learn a lot from the Chilean teachers, gaining new perspectives and approaches to support the development of innovative and transformative practices.
The Chilean coordinator of EPPE LAB, Cristian Celedón, who is both a member of the EPPE Network and a consultant to the Universidad Católica del Norte, is calling for Chilean teachers located in Antofagasta to participate in this initiative, emphasizing that:
"This will be an invaluable opportunity for teachers to acquire expertise and essential knowledge in the field of research, in order to be able to apply high-impact improvements in their establishments, based on evidence. This project will be implemented within schools with a Vulnerability Index higher than 50%, so the scope of these investigations and their findings will not only benefit the teachers involved, but will also directly impact vulnerable educational contexts, where producing improvements in educational equity is an urgent imperative."
Chilean teachers and pedagogy students interested in participating in EPPE LAB will be able to access further information and apply to join the project at www.eppenetwork.org from March 2019.
If you are interested in becoming involved in the EPPE LAB Chile 2019 partnership, contact Cristian Celedón.